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Best 4K HDR projectors 2017: Our favourite projectors for outdoor viewing this summer

We round up the best 4K HDR-ready projectors you can buy in the UK this summer, to enjoy the sudden 2017 heatwave in your garden with an Ultra HD movie or two.

Going to the cinema when it’s hot out can be a good way to hide in a darkened room with powerful aircon, but enjoying the same big screen experience at home is much cheaper. Plus, there’s no noisy popcorn eaters, no one with a crazy perm sat just in front and best of all, no slack-jawed chavs constantly posting on Twitter. Plus, with your own home projector to play with, you can even take it outside to keep an eye on those summer sporting events while working the barbecue.

So if you want a huge, premium-quality picture and the ability to enjoy your favourite shows and flicks outdoors, you need to bear in mind a few important factors: 4K resolution, HDR support plus of course an excellent peak brightness. If you’re planning on streaming Ultra HD content, you’ll also need to ensure that your home is 4K-ready.

All that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best 4K projector options out there in 2017. Check them out to see which is best for you.

Sony VPL-VW550ES 4K HDR projector

Sony is one of the big names in projectors right now thanks to its super high-quality yet affordable big-screen machines. The Sony VPL-VW550ES is the pinnacle of the 2017 line-up, offering full 4K UHD resolution complete with a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, thanks to 1800 lumens of brightness and HDR support.

All of that should be plenty for a superior home cinema experience, while the VPL-VW550ES works perfectly for a shaded outdoor summer event – if you can lug the beast outside, that is. Wherever you stick it, you should get a respectable 6,000 hours of use thanks to the long-lasting built-in lamp. Plenty, even for the most addictive Netflix binger.

The catch? This Sony projector will set you back about £9,000

Optoma UHD65 4K HDR projector

When it comes to outdoor viewing, the Optoma UHD65 is a serious contender for best of the bunch. Once again you get 4K UHD resolution and HDR support, this time at a more reasonable price. Thanks to a whopping 1,200,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,200 lumens brightness, this beauty creates a stunning picture that gives most TVs a run for their money – in much bigger dimensions.

The smart PureMotion tech means that movement blur is eliminated, while the Optoma Amazing Colour tech – as the name kinda suggests – lets you find the ideal colour palette for whatever you’re watching. There are even 8W speakers built-in, making it perfect for lugging to different places.

The UK asking price, considering all those specs and features, isn’t too bad at £3,000.

JVC DLA-Z1 4K HDR projector

Let’s start by clarifying this is one of the very best projectors out there in 2017, full stop. That said, it will cost you £35,000. So if a second mortgage or eating beans on toast for several decades are open options, this could be the entertainment machine for you.

That price will get you native 4K and HDR support, with the best contrast available and an excellent colour range for impressive precision. In short, this is like installing a cinema projector in your home. At 3,000 lumens brightness, this will also easily handle a trip outdoors – just make sure it’s super dry and secure as you really don’t want the DLA-Z1 breaking at that mind-numbing price.

Acer V9800 DLP 4K HDR projector

Acer has come up with an impressive offering in its V9800 projector. This device not only manages a 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution, but can also churn out a hefty 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio thanks to 2,200 lumens of brightness. Top specs, right? Yet the V9800 is priced at £4,000 in the UK, making it more affordable than a lot of the competition which claims to offer similar specs. It’s even HDR compatible with Rec. 709 colour standards.

Lugging this beast into your garden will make a true spectacle of your chosen movie or sporting event, that your guests will most likely forget about the barbeque – leaving more meat (or veggie alternatives) for you. Win times two.

Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

Sony’s Short Throw Projector is a very unique offering. Not only does it throw out true 4096 x 2160 resolution visuals at a super bright 2,000 lumens, meaning ace colours too, but it’s short throw. That, combined with built-in speakers, means you can pop this projector down right in front of the wall or screen and enjoy a proper cinema-like experience. This makes it easy for guests to move about and leaves space in the room (if used indoors) without the need to mount the projector on a wall or ceiling.

Sounds perfect, right? Wrong. You’ll need a mind-bending £60,000 to buy one. Yup, and these are “crafted to order” too so getting hold of one isn’t so easy either.

Epson EH-LS10500 4K HDR projector

This beast is 4K, it’s HDR and it’s powered by a frickin’ laser. What’s not to love? Oh, yeah, the £6,000 asking price. But you really get what you pay for with projectors and this unit is one of the best money-to-spec offerings out there right now.

Don’t worry about brightness or colour limitations, thanks to that expertly crafted laser powering the show. This is a solid beast too, so moving it might be a slog but it’ll work well wherever it’s shoved, even in the patio for some outdoors viewing.

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